Promoting Health

Healthcare is often out of reach for poor households that have limited access to health facilities, are unsure of when to seek care, and have difficulty affording the services when they do. Good health is equally out of reach when people have limited knowledge about nutrition, health, and preventing illness.

Our programs are designed to remove the obstacles to health by providing information and education, health financing and microinsurance, and access to health providers and products.

Our solutions often make use of digital technology, providing millions of poor people with health information and improving healthcare delivery. Even when people are far from a health clinic they can access crucial information over the mobile phone. From providing information about nutrition during pregnancy to feeding advice for infants, from encouraging pre-natal visits to the use of trained birth attendants, vital health information delivered over mobile phones can help prevent many of the 800 deaths of women every day related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Our integrated approach to health establishes partner networks to tackle the complex obstacles to good health.


Mobile Kilkari and Mobile Kunji Promoting Maternal and Infant Health in India

In January 2016, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a national mobile health program developed by Grameen Foundation and BBC Media Action to promote health behaviors -- behaviors that can sometimes make a difference between life and death for young mothers and their infants.

Mobile Kilkari directly calls pregnant women and mothers on their mobile phones, delivering crucial health information targeted to their stage of pregnancy or their infant’s age. It aims to reach at least 10 million women, and as of October 2016 1.9 million women were enrolled.

Health care workers use a second program, Mobile Kunji, to educate and counsel families. The workers carry a printed deck of cards (Kunji cards), which have illustrations and key health messages. Each card also has a unique shortcode that can be used to play specific audio messages to the family.

Microfinance and Health Protection

Microfinance is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty and hunger, but the positive impacts of microfinance can be undermined when a client or family member falls ill, causing late payments or even default. This is especially true in very poor, rural communities, where people are exposed to more health risks and have few options for health care.

Microfinance and Health Protection promotes and supports good health through an integrated set of services - health and nutrition education, health financing and microinsurance, linkages to health providers, and access to health products.

This integrated approach to health reaches poor women and their families through a network of Financial Service Providers and other organizations.

Microfinance and Health Protection is a legacy program of Freedom from Hunger, now part of Grameen Foundation. It was launched in 2006 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and continues to guide the health component of many projects today.

Benin Family Planning

In Benin, our family planning work is aimed at helping the government achieve its objective of 20 percent modern contraceptive prevalence by 2018.
The project works through women’s savings groups and includes a behavior-change communication campaign that raises awareness about family planning and reproductive health. It also includes men and community leaders in the discussion. It expands health financing options for savings group members to use for family planning services. Collaborations with local health providers facilitate access to health services, including appropriate family planning methods.

Benin Family Planning is a project of Freedom from Hunger, a supporting organization to Grameen Foundation in Benin.

Rajasthan Nutrition Project 

This project builds on the growing self-help movement in Rajasthan state in India, and is being implemented in the areas of Banswara and Sirohi where the populations are at particularly high risk for under-nourishment, and maternal and infant mortality. Over half of women and adolescent girls suffer from anemia and more than one-third of children under the age of five are stunted. Good nutritious food is an ever-pressing necessity.

The program has trained more than 2,500 Community Nutrition Agents in Rajasthan. These agents have worked with 8,000 members of women’s savings groups, using these intimate gatherings as opportunities to teach the women how to fight malnutrition and give their children the best chance possible of a healthy future.  The project links health, nutrition, agriculture, and gender to connect more poor women to available services. 

Rajasthan Nutrition Project is a project of Freedom from Hunger India Trust.